Patients in the United States depend on their doctors for medical care and advice, and often trust whatever their doctor says. But what happens when a doctor unnecessarily performs medical procedures, ranging from tests to surgeries, at a patient’s expense?
Types of Unnecessary Medical Procedures
Doctors may perform an array of medical procedures in order to diagnose or treat an illness. Statistics show, however, that doctors also perform a number of unnecessary procedures. Some procedures that doctors perform that could be unnecessary for a specific patient include:
- Cesarean section;
- Induced labor;
- CT scans;
- MRI scans;
- Use of feeding tubes; and
- Pap smears for patients ages 30 to 65.
How Big is the Problem?
Unnecessary medical procedures are a big problem in the United States. To be sure, a 2013 article published in Scientific American highlights data from the Institute of Medicine stating that unnecessary medical procedures cost about $750 billion each year, and comprise 30 percent of all medical costs. A separate article published that same year in USA Today found that unnecessary surgeries account for 10 to 20 percent of all operations in some specialties, and that tens of thousands of patients each year are affected.
Unnecessary procedures can lead to false positives (leading to treatment that the patient doesn’t need); be time intensive and risky for a patient’s health; lead to other complications (i.e. risk of infection with surgery); and be economically disadvantageous to a patient, too.
What to Do if You Are a Victim of an Unnecessary Procedure
If you are someone who has undergone an unnecessary medical procedure and has suffered harm, contact our national and experienced medical malpractice lawyers at the office of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC for a free consultation today.